Best Things Italy is Famous For

Travelxp- Holidays | 2024-02-29 | Ishan Sharma

Discover the top 20 Best Things Italy is Famous For worldwide. From Renaissance art to mouthwatering cuisine, experience the best of Italy.

20 Best Things Italy Is Famous For


When you think of Italy, what comes to mind? Most likely, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, delicious pizza, the canals of Venice, or the art of the Renaissance. While these are undoubtedly iconic and deserving of attention, the beauty of Italy goes far beyond the standard list that most tourists are familiar with. One of the biggest challenges many travelers face is uncovering those hidden gems and unique experiences that truly capture the essence of Italy – from its deep-rooted history to its modern-day allure. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the vast amount of information available online, with countless lists and articles claiming to have the "top" this and "best" that. How can one be sure they're not missing out on the authentic treasures of Italy? If you've ever felt this way, you're not alone. This blog post is designed to be your compass, guiding you to the 20 best things Italy is famous for - some you may know and others that might surprise you. By the end, you’ll have a more comprehensive and enriching understanding of what makes Italy truly special. So, let's embark on this journey together and unravel the true magic of Italy!


Top 20 things Italy is famous for you must add to your next Europe trip.


1. Food



Pizza is the world’s most loved and renowned food contributed by Italy. Pasta is the second in line to make the world fall in love with its taste. Today pizza is found in every corner of the world yet no one can match the savory and cheesy pizzas Italy has to offer. Pizza was invented in the 18th century as quick and cheap street food for the laborers rushing to work. Pizza later developed to be a famous Italian cuisine and the rest is history!


Available in various styles, loaded with cheese, and dipped in various sauces, Pasta rules everyone’s hearts. There are many stories about how Venetian merchant Marco Polo brought it from his travel to Asia while some say the Etruscans of ancient Italy cooked a similar delicacy, proving that it is an Italian dish. But we all know that if you want to try the best, authentic pasta in the world you must visit Italy.


Today you get a variety of pasta in various sauces like cream-based, tomato sauce cooked in olive oil and a wide range of shapes like penne, ravioli, rigatoni, linguine, tagliatelle, good Ol’ spaghetti, and the list goes on!


Apart from pizza and pasta, Bottarga, Lasagna, Bruschetta, Polenta, and Ossobuco are some of the foods Italy is famous for.


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2. Italian Wine


No dinner is incomplete without some drinks. Italy is famous in that department widely known as Vino or Wine. Wine is the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage, and the wine industry would collapse if Italy did not exist. It is the world’s greatest wine producer in terms of volume, with wine regions such as Tuscany being the most sought-after producer globally. Cannonau di Sardegna, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Bianco are some of the famous wines from Italy.


The tuscany region in Italy is home to the top winemakers like Ornellaia whose bottles are sold above 1000 euros. Tourists travel to Italy’s wine regions to savor the flavors of wine, brush up on the fundamentals, and pair the delectable wines with traditional cuisines. Whether you drink wine or not, you must at least try a glass of wine to experience the charm of Italy. 


3. Italian Cheese


Everyone loves a dish loaded with cheese, may it be a cheese topped with mozzarella or pasta dipped in parmesan, Italy is here to serve you some of its best cheeses. Italy has produced a large range of cheeses and has one of the oldest cheesemaking traditions in the world. Its origins in the country may be traced back to the Romans, who were fond of cheese and were among the first to export it across their empire, delivering it to France and Britain.


The country is home to over 400 dairies; where you can make an Italian cheese bucket list for yourself and try prominent Italian cheeses including Parmesan, Mozzarella, Ricotta, Gorgonzola, and Mascarpone.


4. Gelato


After a wholesome meal of pizza and pasta, you need some dessert. Do not worry, Italy has got you here as well. Italy is famous for its sweet treat all-round the globe. Gelato is similar to ice cream, but trust me Gelato is an emotion for Italians. Gelato is an Italian variant of ice cream with lower in fat and air, and it’s served at a higher temperature making it silky and soft in texture. It was invented by Italian chef Francesco Procopio Dei Coltelli in the late 17th century. Most gelato in Italy is made in small artisanal dessert shops rather than in large factories.


Over 5,000 dessert parlors in Italy produce gelato in popular flavors such as vanilla, pistachio, mint chocolate, and hazelnut. On your next vacation to Italy, enjoy your Gelato and a nice walk around the city.


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5. Italian Architecture

Without a doubt, Italy is known for its arts! The country is brimming with great respect for arts and architecture, which can be traced back to ancient Rome. Italy excels in all aspects of the arts. Names like Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Bernini come to mind when thinking of visual arts, whether in painting or sculpture. The opera was born in 16th-century Italy, demonstrating the country’s superiority in musical and dramatic arts! Italy was at the forefront of architectural design and invention from the time of the Romans until the advent of the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles.


The Trevi Fountain in Rome is one of the famous architectural fountains in Italy. The story says if you throw one coin in the fountain you will return to Rome, if you throw two coins you will return to Rome and fall in love and if you throw three coins, you will return to Rome, fall in love, and marry as well. The fountain collects around 1.4 million euros which are used to feed the poor.


6. Sports Cars, Luxury Automobiles, and Vespa

Another thing Italy is famous for is its love of expensive vehicles, from Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini sports cars to sleek Vespa scooters. It’s no surprise that Italians have a reputation for driving in style.


The Vespa is an Italian scooter that has established itself in Italian culture. It was already well-known for its ability to drive its way through the busy streets of Italian cities. However, the Vespa’s prominence in movies established it as the ultimate way to tour Italy. Notable examples include Roman Holiday in 1953 and La Dolce Vita in 1960. Today, just over 70 years after the original Vespa, there are over 34 versions, with millions sold worldwide each year.


Next time take a ride on Vespa across the bustling streets of Italy to get a completely local experience of the city.


7. Venice


Venice, the city of romance and love, also goes by many other names like “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Bridges”, “La Serenissima”, “The Floating City”, and “La Dominante”.


The main city of Venice is made up of 118 islands connected only by 400 bridges and 170 canals. Venice, synonymous with the Grand Canal, attracts travelers with its charming bodies of water. It’s famous for its gondolas, which are flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boats that function similarly to taxis but only on the canal. Venice established its local economy around lagoon aquaculture and tourism experiences thanks to these waterways.


Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square), St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and the Rialto Bridge are among the must-sees in Venice. After a long day of touring, do not forget to eat by the waterfront enjoying the beautiful scenery!


8. Rome


Rome is a must-see whether you’re backpacking Italy or on a luxury vacation. The Italian capital is not only famous for its elegant European charm, but it also has a lot of heritage sites. The history of the city is profoundly rooted in the empire that defined Rome as a center of trade, culture, literature, philosophy, politics, and power. Today, Rome attracts travelers due to its numerous attractions, including the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Colosseum, and Sistine Chapel, to name a few.


We all know that Italy is famous for Rome in literature as well. Many famous words have been inspired by the city, including “…the glory that was Greece, the grandeur that was Rome” and “All roads lead to Rome”. The latter is evidence that Rome was a center even throughout the medieval period; after all, all major roads leading to other parts of the country grew from there.


9. The Vatican City


The Vatican City is an independent state in Rome with an area of around 100 acres, making it the world’s smallest country. The Vatican is the spiritual center of Catholicism and has been home to the Pope since the 14th century.


The Vatican contains a variety of noteworthy buildings, including the Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museum, which houses many holy relics. The Vatican is completely self-contained, having its flag and song. It also produces its euros, stamps, passports, and automobile registration plates.


10. Graian Alps


To surprise you, Italy has its fair share of mountain ranges to give you a thrilling experience of snow-capped mountains. The mountain range provides a wide choice of adrenaline-pumping activities, including a three-day ascent of Gran Paradiso (Italy’s tallest peak!), mountain biking through rocky ridges, canyoning in Maglia Canyon, and skiing on Verbier’s icy slopes, among others!


If you want to relax in the lap of nature, you can just explore the lush greenery around Mercantour National Park, set up a picnic, and spend some marvelous time with your loved ones.


11. Mt. Vesuvius


Not only for food, fun, and fashion but also Italy is famous for its scenic beauty and gorgeous mountains. Mount Vesuvius is one of only two active volcanoes in mainland Europe. It is situated in Southern Italy, close to the city of Naples. The volcano is around 17,000 years old and has erupted over 50 times, the most famous of which wiped out the Roman city of Pompeii and an estimated 3 million inhabitants in the year 79AD. According to accounts and artifacts, Mt. Vesuvius fiercely blasted lava, massive ashfall, and toxic fumes into the air for two days, killing everything in its path.


Mount Vesuvius is now a major national park that draws tourists who wish to hike up to the peak and gaze within. The trail to the peak is a beginner-friendly 4km round trip.


12. Pompeii


History buffs delight at the idea of entering Pompeii and being transported back in time. The archaeological site contains the well-preserved ruins of an old Roman city destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius’ cataclysmic eruption in 79 CE.


Built structures aren’t the only things left behind by the disaster. Excavations also revealed calcified forms of actual living things — humans and animals — frozen in the poses they died in when the volcano erupted years ago. Although horrific and ugly, these “frozen” bodies provide an essential insight into Greco-Roman society and the calamity that destroyed the entire city.


13. Amalfi Coast


In the spirit of beaches, the Amalfi coast is one that every beach lover should visit. Italy is famous for its gorgeous coastline stretching for around 50 kilometers and is lined with stunning seaside resorts.


Lemon trees, fishing towns where you can get your share of the sea’s fresh bounty, and mountains overlooking the sea; Amalfi not only sounds like a dream, but it looks the part!


With towering cliffs and a rocky shoreline dotted with little beaches and pastel-colored fishing communities, it’s a favorite holiday destination. Between the port city of Salerno and clifftop Sorrento, the coastal route passes past stately mansions, terraced vineyards, and cliffside lemon orchards.


14. Milan


Milan is widely regarded as the fashion capital of the world. Italy is famous for designer labels and couture, mostly thanks to homegrown brands like Versace, Fendi, and Gucci, and of course the fashionable city itself — Milan. Milan is home to many internationally recognized fashion businesses, including Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, and Prada. Quadrilatero della Moda is Milan’s high-end fashion district, home to luxury labels and unique fashion businesses. It’s one of the world’s most luxurious and expensive shopping streets. Milan Fashion Week is one of the world’s top four fashion weeks, featuring spectacular events and attracting industry leaders.


Milan is not simply a fashion capital; it also has a rich cultural legacy. Visit the Leonardo da Vinci Museum and marvel at The Last Supper, which can be seen inside the Santa Maria Delle Grazie Church. Have you ever visited an 18th-century opera house? This is your opportunity! Go to the Teatro alla Scala.


15. Capri


Capri, the original home of the glitterati, is one of Italy’s most desirable getaways. Capri has traditionally been a site where peaceful Italian charm meets bold Italian glamour, from its outstanding attractions to its sublime natural beauty, sophisticated villages, and high-end shopping.


Capri, an island in Italy’s Bay of Naples, is famous for its rugged landscape, luxurious hotels, and shopping, which includes everything from designer clothing to limoncello and handcrafted leather sandals. The Blue Grotto, a dark cavern where the sea shines electric blue as a result of sunlight entering through an underwater cave, is one of its most well-known natural sights. Capri’s picturesque, cove-studded coastline attracts a large number of yachts during the summer.


16. Florence City


Florence, Italy’s Tuscany region’s capital, is home to several Renaissance art and architecture treasures. The Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome designed by Brunelleschi and a bell tower designed by Giotto, is one of its most recognizable landmarks. Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture is on show at the Galleria dell Accademia. Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation” are on display at the Uffizi Gallery. Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors visit Florence to witness the famous works of historical artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli, Giotto, and Titian, to mention a few.


Take a deep dive into the history of Italy and get an insight into the architecture and glory of the ancient period.


17. Cinque Terre


Cinque Terre is straight out of a dream coastline located at the Italian Riveria. Colorful buildings and vineyards to steep terraces in each of the five towns, harbors are packed with fishing boats, and trattorias serve seafood specialties alongside the region’s famous sauce, pesto. The Sentiero Azzurro cliffside hiking trail connects the communities and provides panoramic sea views.


Every village in Cinque Terre has its unique attraction one must not miss. If you are looking for the ultimate beach stay experience you must visit Monterosso. As Cinque Terre is known for pebbly beaches, it is the only village with sandy beaches. Take a hike up the picture-perfect mountain overlooking the beautiful beach. Riomaggiore is one of the villages known for lovely wines and tasty olive oil. Just 500m away from Riomaggiore is Manarola known for its romantic pathway. Visit here to enjoy a romantic getaway. The oldest of the five communities, as well as the only one not right on the sea. Corniglia is a little settlement located 100 meters above sea level on the tip of a cape. The vineyards surround the village. A small slice of bliss that’s a little difficult to find.


18. Blue Grotto


The Blue Grotto has long charmed travelers, ever when the insane emperor Tiberius ruled over Ancient Rome. The Blue Grotto is one of Italy’s most beautiful sights, an illuminated coastal cave system where the sunshine enchantingly lights up its mesmerizing waters.


To get to the Blue Grotto, you’ll have to take a water taxi with a singing driver, which is all part of the exhilarating excitement of exploring this magnificent cave system. It is not permitted for visitors to swim into the grotto or dive from rowboats to swim inside the cavern. Many guests stay until after the rowboats leave and the ticket office shuts at 5:30 p.m. to swim inside. This is forbidden and dangerous since the high waves can slam swimmers into the low cave mouth’s stone.


19. Leaning Tower of Pisa


The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of medieval Europe’s most spectacular architectural marvels. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is 60 meters tall and was built to stand straight. During the construction, there was instability at the base level of the building making it lean. The monument attracts a lot of tourists as the name suggests, it leans around 5.5 degrees to the south. The location is filled with tourists visiting the iconic monument and enjoying a delightful picnic. You can be assured that you will notice at least one visitor taking a photograph of the falling tower.


The Pisa Tower is one of four buildings that constitute the Campo Dei Miracoli or Piazza dei Miracoli, which means Field of Miracles, in Pisa, Italy. The Tower of Pisa is simply a bell tower.


20. Colosseum


The Colosseum is an oval amphitheater located in Rome, Italy, just east of the Roman Forum. It is the largest ancient amphitheater ever created and, despite its age, the largest standing amphitheater in the world today. At various stages in its history, it could hold an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 spectators, with an average crowd of around 65,000. It was used for gladiatorial competitions and public spectacles including animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous wars, Roman mythology-based dramas, and even enacted naval warfare. In the early medieval period, the structure was no longer used for entertainment. It was eventually repurposed for homes, workshops, religious order apartments, a castle, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.


The Colosseum is one of the major attractions in Italy and is famous for attracting around 6 million tourists every year.




I hope you understand now why Italy is an enchanting amalgamation of history, culture, cuisine, fashion, and breathtaking landscapes. From the ancient ruins of Rome to the fashion-forward streets of Milan, from the tantalizing taste of pizza to the allure of Venetian canals, Italy promises a unique blend of experiences that have been captivating travelers for ages. Whether you're an art aficionado, a foodie, or someone seeking natural beauty, Italy has something special for everyone. As you plan your next European escapade, ensure that these 20 highlights of Italy are on your bucket list. If you have any doubts or want to learn more about it, feel free to get in touch, we would be happy to help you plan your perfect getaway.